Funding round-up: January 2019

The Road Ahead 2019

Each year NCVO publishes our The Road Ahead report which examines the key drivers shaping the sector in four areas: political, economic, social and technological.
The economics section highlights how Brexit-related economic consequences – such as a weak pound, high inflation and lower business investments – are likely to negatively affect the economy for the foreseeable future. This is likely to create a tough economic operating environment for charities, as well as a continued demand for the support and services they offer. The report also notes how the demise of cash should be firmly on the radar for charities involved in fundraising, while for some organisations involved in public services, a renewed focus on grants and social value will be welcome news.

Elizabeth Chamberlain’s blog provides a brief overview of the report.

Gift Aid small donations increase

In the 2018 budget it was announced that the limit for claims under the Gift Aid small donations scheme would be increased from £20 to £30, in line with the contactless payment limit. The increase will only come into effect once it’s been approved by the House of Commons. No debate has currently been set, but the parliamentary order can be viewed online.

Gift Aid declarations

HMRC has shifted from enforced forename inclusion on Gift Aid claims, to ‘recommended’ inclusion, after concerns were raised by the Charity Tax Group. HMRC cites closing the ‘tax gap’ of Gift Aid claimed by non-tax payers as the reason for this recommendation.

Fall in charity accounts transparency

A review of charity accounts by the Charity Commission has noted a drop in the quality and transparency of financial reporting by charities. Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission said:

The public want and deserve to know how charities spend their money so this deterioration in the quality of accounts is of serious concern. The trustees’ annual report and accounts are a key way to build confidence among supporters, so many charities are clearly missing an opportunity.

The main reasons for the accounts failing to meet the required benchmark were failure to provide evidence that accounts had been subject to independent scrutiny by an auditor or independent examiner, and/or an absence of information detailing their charitable purposes and activities undertaken to achieve said purposes.

Text donation platforms

The closure of JustTextGiving, set for March, has increased uptake of new donations platforms such as donr, and the simplification of existing platform Donate. Paul Paterson, COO of donr, said: ‘Text giving continues to be an important revenue stream for charities, especially as they target the ‘digital generation’ of donors.’  Charities should be aware of the need to diversify their donation options as society increasingly moves away from carrying cash.

UK shared prosperity fund

An article in the Independent has highlighted the growing concern around the delays to a UK shared prosperity fund (UKSPF) consultation, which was originally promised in 2017 and has been continually delayed, now into 2019. The UKSPF, which will be the successor to European structural funds like the European Social Fund (ESF) post-Brexit, will be a crucial source of funding for charities delivering support for disabled people, young offenders, the long-term unemployed and other disadvantaged groups.

The good news is that the delay gives us more time to make a strong case for replacing ESF. To do this, we need case studies, data and research that highlights how services delivered by charities with ESF funding have had a positive impact for communities.

If you’re able to help, please get in touch with

NCVO Annual Conference 2019

With the theme ‘looking to the future’, NCVO’s Annual Conference will be held on 1 April. It’s a great opportunity to join colleagues from across the sector to explore how future trends and tools can strengthen your charity and support you to develop as a leader.

Update from Funding Central

Each month we highlight some new information on just a couple of the thousands of interesting funding opportunities, funding news and funding deadlines listed on Funding Central. Remember if this month’s ones aren’t for you then there are plenty more to search for on Funding Central.

Heart Research UK and SUBWAY Healthy Heart Grants are available through the partnership between the Heart Research UK and SUBWAY where money for the grants was raised by SUBWAY staff and customers through in-store fundraising and collection boxes.

Grants are available for voluntary sector organisations to support new, original and innovative projects that actively promote a healthy heart and help to prevent, or reduce, the risk of heart disease in specific groups or communities in the UK. The funding rotates around the UK at different times of the year. Check out when the application window is for your region.

It’s Vegetarian week in May. If you have an event that celebrates this week The Vegetarian Society is offering grants for community activities or events. There are two types of grant small (£200) and larger (£2000) for activities such as cookery demonstrations, communal meals, recipe exchanges, and tasting sessions. Activities are not limited to these however so check to see if you event will be eligible.

Read our full news item for more details or check out our news noticeboard for more funding news and updates

Training and events

NCVO training and events has a great new website, with a category specifically for funding and finance related courses. Take a look through to make sure you’re up to speed for 2019.


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Avatar photo James was a Trainee Policy Officer at NCVO until February 2019. His primary area of work is funding and finance, including providing secretariat support for the Charity Tax Commission. He also works on safeguarding EU funding post-Brexit.

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